Structures for Implementation - Go and Make Disciples

Structures for Implementation (¶133-136) 

133. Because this plan must involve every one of us, we bishops first of all pledge to implement it ourselves. We pledge, as shepherds of God's people, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ through welcome, mercy, and renewal. We pledge to continue being evangelized by the Gospel of Jesus as we meet him in our people and in the challenges of today's world.

134. We commit ourselves to adding new full-time staff for evangelization at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C., to help dioceses and other church agencies carry out the goals of this plan and strategy. As pastors of local churches, we realize that individuals and parishes also need support at the diocesan level. Each bishop will seriously consider establishing a diocesan office and an evangelization committee or otherwise assign staff to give the ministry of evangelization proper visibility and attention, as well as provide resources for evangelization to his people. Parishes will be looking to these offices for direction and materials.

135. We will work together with our brother priests and parish leaders to formulate plans and strategies in the local churches that will carry forward our common ministry of evangelization.

136. Bishops should take every occasion to speak out on the need and duty of every Catholic to be an evangelizer. Because we need everyone's help to implement this plan, we ask our brother and sister Catholics to support us in the following ways:

  1. Each individual Catholic is to look at his or her everyday life from the viewpoint of evangelization. Take note of the many opportunities to support another's faith, to share faith, and to help build up Jesus' kingdom in our homes and workplaces, among our neighbors and friends. Catholics should participate in renewal programs and receive training in evangelization.

  2. Families must find ways to highlight the faith that is part of their daily life, until each family unit knows itself as a "domestic church" living and sharing faith. If each household lived a vibrant faith, the members would more naturally reach out to their friends and neighbors, introducing them by their lives to the faith of Christ Jesus. Households are invited to see the dynamics of welcoming, sharing, caring, and nourishing as dynamics of evangelization. Families, individually or together, should read this plan with a view to helping them both appreciate and revitalize the practice of faith in the family and in the neighborhood.

  3. Parishes, as part of their regular planning process, need to examine their activities in light of this plan. They should consider how to give their present ministry a clearer evangelizing focus and how new ministries might be formed to achieve the goals of this plan. Each parish should have an evangelization team trained and prepared to help the whole parish implement the goals and objectives of this plan. These teams could help train Cath-olics in evangelization and provide resources to individuals, families, and parish groups. Parishes might even consider designating a trained person as a full-time coordinator of evangelization.

    We ask parish leadership, especially pastors who have a critical leadership role, to understand their ministry in terms of this plan. We commit ourselves to support pastors in the implementation of this plan by special gatherings to hear their concerns, assess their needs, and address their issues. We recognize how burdened parish leadership is today; our hope is that this plan can actually clarify the purpose of parish leadership and thereby ease the burdens of already busy pastors.

  4. Catholic institutions are also to review their goals in light of this plan. They should review the ways they can, through the services they provide, reflect the Good News of Jesus. Schools and hospitals, often the only face of the Church some people see, need to look at how their staffs welcome and treat people. Ways in which people can be invited to know Jesus and the Church through these institutions should be constantly explored and reviewed. From our manner of welcoming, enlisting, and serving people, all Catholic institutions should be signs of the kingdom of Christ. Catholics enjoy a tremendous reputation in serving the most basic human needs; along with that, should we not also enjoy a reputation for sharing our Catholic faith?

  5. Local, diocesan, and national organizations need to renew their own mission with a view to evangelization. Millions of Catholics belong to Catholic organizations; their membership can lead them to a greater pursuit of Catholic goals. Cannot the goals of our plan find an echo in the goals of your organization? Your support, both nationally and locally, will be a tremendous asset to the Church.